Naga City Visita Iglesia

If you're planning to go on a pilgrimage or Visita Iglesia this Holy Week, then the best place to go to is the Pilgrim City itself. Naga City prides itself as the Heart of Bicol due to its location in the region. The city is also called Pilgrim City because it is home to the largest Marian pilgrimage in Asia which is the Our Lady of Penafrancia.

2014 Naga City Visita Iglesia

This Visita Iglesia in Naga City was part of the CamSur-Albay Road Trip that my family undertook last 2014. During our two-day stay in the city, we managed to visit most of its religious structures.
Since we stayed in Nagaland Hotel during our trip, the closest and first church we visited was the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. It is also called as Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and informally the Naga Cathedral. It is a Romanesque Baroque structure made from coral stones and bricks that was built in 1575 and finished in 1579.

Stained Glass decoration of the rotunda

Just in front of the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral is a beautifully decorated rotunda.
A few meters away is the newly built Porta Mariae. You won't miss it because of its grandeur.

Plaza Jorge Barlin

Walking back to the direction of our hotel, we visited and gave respect to Jorge Barlin in Plaza Barlin which is just a few meters away from our next destination. Jorge Barlin is the first Filipino Bishop in the Catholic Church. He is also a son of the province of Camarines Sur 
Our next stop was the San Francisco Church. It is located several meters away from Nagaland Hotel and Plaza Barlin. The church is one of the Spanish era churches in the city. It was built sometime in the 17th century.
Since it was getting dark already and the other churches are quite far from where we are, we decided to call it a night and just continue our Visita Iglesia the next day. Our first church during the second day of pilgrimage is the Penafrancia Basilica Minore. It is not a Spanish Era church and was built a few decades ago but it houses the image of Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia -the Marian image which has millions of devotees.

Penafrancia Shrine

Our last pilgrimage site before leaving Naga City is the Penafrancia Shrine. It is the original home of Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia before the image was transferred to the much bigger church. The shrine was built in 1710 and was finished in 1750. 

Overall, we only got to visit 4 churches this Visita Iglesia but since Naga City is just part of our road trip we could have two Visita Iglesias this year... the first is in Naga City and the next one is in Albay... Well as they say, the more the merrier! 

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